The map above shows East Asia (aka The Far East) in 1932. It’s interesting both because of what is and what is not included.
Interesting things that have been included are:
- Manchuria, Mongolia, Sinkiang (modern Xinjiang) and Tibet all being shown in different colours from China, yet also having their borders marked as being internal Chinese ones. That’s because at this time they were all parts of the Republic of China, although they all enjoyed some degree of autonomy.
- Japan, Korea, Formosa (Taiwan) and South Sakhalin Island are all shaded in pink to show that they are parts of the Empire of Japan.
- Sumatra, Borneo and Java are all different colours despite all being parts of the Dutch East Indies.
- Many older names for Chinese cities are included, such as Peiping for Beijing, Canton for Guangzhou, and Nanking for Nanjing.
The most notable omission is that, with the exception of French Indo-China and British North Borneo, there is no references to the fact that many of the countries were colonies (e.g. British India, Duct East Indies, Insular Government of the Philippine Islands).
Also of note is the fact that neither Hong Kong or Macau are marked as being colonies and instead look as though they are part of China.
To learn more about Asia during the 1930’s have a look at the following books:
- The Wars for Asia, 1911-1949
- The Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific
- In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines
- Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590-2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia
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Eric Rasmusen says
Truly a bizarre map. Correction for you, though: Tibet was a fully independent country at that time. China claimed it as part of China, but exercised no control whatsoever. Nor were the people there Chinese in ethnicity, language, or culture. China invaded and conquered Tibet in 1950, and began colonizing it after its unsuccessful rebellion in 1959.